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Prepaid Cards That Don’t Bite Into Your Wallet!
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Prepaid Cards That Don’t Bite Into Your Wallet!

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What is a Prepaid Card?

A Prepaid Travel Card is a form of electronic currency it serves the same purpose as traditional travellers cheques but in an electronic format. You decide the amount of currency you would like to load onto the card using it in a similar fashion to that of a credit/debit card. Prepaid cards are generally the second best solutions after specialist travel credit card such as the Halifax Clarity, these are perfect for those of you who do not feel confident using a credit card or do not qualify for the best cards around.

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Factors to Consider

There are a few points to consider before loading all your holiday money onto a prepaid card. For instance one of the main drawbacks of a prepaid card is they have a bunch of charges which always seem to make them that much more unattractive then specialist credit cards.

Many of them will add an application fee which can be anywhere up to £10, followed by a spending fee which essentially means every time you swipe the card you will be charged a fixed fee per transaction or will be charged a percentage of the transaction. They usually like to charge you for withdrawing cash from an ATM so it is advisable to keep some local currency. One of the sneakiest things they like do is charge you for NOT using the card, so if you’re planning on loading a large amount of currency and saving it for a few holidays you could be eating into your pocket without even realising.

Not all is doom and gloom, you will find they have some very good benefits starting with the fact they are electronic and do have the added benefit of Chip and Pin. Additionally it does not go into your current account it will only allow you to spend the amount loaded onto the card and not a penny more so you can definitely budget for your holiday in advance.

It is open to all credit ratings so you can be sure even if you have a poor score you can still get one of these cards. This naturally leads onto is the prepaid cards safe if you were to lose it? The short answer is yes they can issue a replacement card however, there always tends to be a charge attached to these cards so it will always be worth looking into this. It must be noted there will be no protection if money was to be withdrawn by a third party; this only applies to credit/debit cards. The prepaid cards are essentially like real cash and you have to treat it, as if you were walking around with a wallet full of money.

Furthermore, these cards are generally backed by banks or building societies so if the prepaid card provider ceased trading you will still be able to get your money back however, if the bank or building society were to cease trading then you will stand to lose out.

As we are all trying to get the best rate, you have to be careful on the date you load currency onto your card. This is primarily because the prepaid card company sets out the rate that you receive; this is usually lower than one set out by MasterCard. Additionally you are essentially fixing the rate you receive based on the date you load your card, this can be beneficial if you secure your currency when the rate is good. However, you will have to bear in mind if the currency rate were to fluctuate between the time of loading and spending you will not benefit from any gains but you will also not lose on any drops in rate.

Best UK Prepaid Travel Cards Around

FairFX - Booking Link

FairFX is currently one of the best prepaid cards around, it is available in a Dollar, Euro and Sterling (GBP) card, why we recommend the purchase of this card is because it generally offers one of the best rates for loading currency compared to rivals such as Travelex and the Post Office. There is an application fee of £9.95 however, we have managed to bag you guys an Exclusive Deal which entitles you to Free Signup and a Free Friends & Family Card worth £6, so that is a total of £15.95 saved. It does not have any usage or monthly fees, if you would like to make cash withdrawals there will be a charge of $2.00 on the Dollar Card, €1.50 on the Euro Card and £1.00 on the Anywhere Card. It will be best to stay away from withdrawing cash on this card. There is a charge for using a currency other than the one loaded onto the card, for instance if you have a Dollar prepaid card and want to spend Euros on it, you will be charged 1.40% conversion. If you do require, a replacement card there will be a fee of $12, €9 or £6 for a new card.

Exclusive Offer Terms & Conditions: To claim for your Free Signup to the Prepaid Currency Card you will need to load a minimum of £50 to the card to qualify for this exclusive offer. To obtain your Free Friends and Family Card you will receive a voucher which will be emailed to you when you have successfully signed up to the Prepaid Card. Once you have received your FairFX card in the post, you will need to login to your online account and redeem your voucher for your Free Friends and Family Card.

UKash - Booking Link

UKash is another great card currently and is available in a Dollar and Euro card; it generally does not have rates as good as FairFX but they are fairly competitive. Moreover, it does not have any application, usage or monthly fees, there is also free cash withdrawals outside of the UK but you have to double check the local ATM to ensure there are no local charges. It must be noted they do have two cards and the one you will want is the Travel Money Prepaid MasterCard, as this card will have less charges in comparison to their Prepaid MasterCard. Similarly, to the FairFX card there is a charge for using a currency other than the one loaded to the card of 2.75%. If you do require, a replacement card there will be a fee of $13 or €9.50 for a new card. Finally, it will not make any sense to cancel this card as they charge an extortionate $17 or €12 for cancellation.

CaxtonFX - Booking Link

Another interesting card which must be mentioned is the CaxtonFX card as it does have some reasonable terms and comes in a Dollar, Euro and Sterling (GBP) card. It does not have the highest of conversion rates compared to the two above cards however, they are still reasonably competitive in relation to all other prepaid cards. One of its major plus points is it is completely free to obtain and does not charge to withdraw money out of ATM's abroad once again you will need to check the local ATM charges if any. Similarly, to the FairFX and UKash prepaid cards there is a charge for using a currency other than the one loaded to the card of 2.75%. If you do require, a replacement card there will be a fee of $10, €7.50 or £5 for a new card.

Conclusion

Overall, if you are looking for the best conversion rates then you should stick to the Halifax Clarity Credit Card however; if you are unable to get this card for various reasons then your next best solution most certainly will be a prepaid card. You will not need to carry lots of physical cash around and will have the added benefit of Chip and Pin furthermore, you will not need to have a good credit rating allowing you to budget for your holiday, but you will need to make sure that you are aware of any charges that a given card may have.

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Best Prepaid Cards Timeframe: 8. Mar. 2015 - 31. Dec. 2015

  1. United Kingdom
    Europe, United States
  • FairFX
    FairFX - Booking Link
    • Currencies 
      • Sterling
      • Euros
      • Dollars 
    • Prepaid Card Charges
      • Application Cost: £9.95 one of fee (Usual Fee)
      • Monthly Charges: None
      • Cash Withdrawal Charges: £1.00|€1.50|$2.00
      • Replacement Card Charges: £6.00|€9.00|$12.00  
    • Exclusive Offer: No Signup Fee (Worth £9.95) & Free Friends & Family Card (Worth £6) Total Saving £15.95
    • Top up: Free if done online or via bank transfer using a debit card
    • Minimum load: £50.00|€65.00|$75.00  
    • Using the card in a different currently to the one which has been preloaded will incur a conversion charges of 1.4%
    • Arrival Time: 10 Working Days
  • UKash
    UKash - Booking Link
    • Currencies 
      • Euros
      • Dollars 
    • Prepaid Card Charges
      • Application Cost: None
      • Monthly Charges: None
      • Cash Withdrawal Charges: Free outside of UK
      • Replacement Card Charges: €9.50|$13.00
      • Closing Card Charges: €12.00|$17.00 (simply do not close the card) 
    • Top up: Free if done online using a debit card
    • Minimum load: £50.00 worth of currency    
    • Using the card in a different currently to the one which has been preloaded will incur a conversion charges of 2.75%
    • Arrival Time: 10 Working Days
  • CaxtonFX
    CaxtonFX - Booking Link
    • Currencies 
      • Sterling
      • Euros
      • Dollars 
    • Prepaid Card Charges
      • Application Cost: None
      • Monthly Charges: None
      • Cash Withdrawal Charges: Free outside of UK
      • Replacement Card Charges: £5.00|€7.50|$10.00  
    • Top up: Free if done online or on the phone using a debit card
    • Minimum load: £100.00|€150.00|$200.00  
    • Using the card in a different currently to the one which has been preloaded will incur a conversion charges of 2.75%
    • Arrival Time: 5-7 Working Days

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